David Howitt: Why We Need More CEOs Who Are Healers

The CEO of the Meriwether Group discusses the importance of work-life balance.

The Dalai Lama once said, “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.”

I partially agree with this statement. What the planet really needs is successful people, CEOs, influencers, entrepreneurs, and those in commerce who are peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.

We need for business to merge with beauty, and commerce to collide with compassion. This is the Power of And™. It is integration, and is necessary for us to live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Just like some spiritualists and yogis should stop judging those with money, a nice house or who those who choose to fly first class, entrepreneurs and professionals could learn a thing or two from striking a child’s pose, doing their downward dog, or meditating once in a while. Both judgments need to be stored away, perhaps even banished, and in their place we need the adoption of integrated living.

We Can Be Rich in Creature Comforts and Rich in Purpose

The reality is we are living in a capitalistic society where most of us are householders. We have mortgage payments, and children to put through college. We need to make sure we have hot water and that we can put gas in the car. Beyond these modern-day necessities, we also want and desire the finer things. We want creature comforts and it is not wrong of us to do so, but we are not meant to put all of our attention there. We are meant to integrate. We are meant to be seekers And crush it in the business world. We are encouraged to enjoy lives of abundance And be soulful and grounded in purpose.

No longer is it enough to simply be a good parent or a successful executive. No longer should we accept being a soulful and centered person or an abundant professional. Commerce, our communities, and the world require us to be both. Living from this place of And is what makes us modern-day heroes.

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We are all Heroes

In our current experience, what defines a hero is a curious thing. Many of us grow up thinking that in order to be great, in order to be considered a hero, we need to become a doctor, a lawyer, a professional athlete, a politician, or some other figure our society considers powerful. The truth is, we can be any of these––or we can be something else. We can be the artist, the musician, the maker of shoes, or the mailman. We can be a web developer, creative director, finance guy, a good parent or loving spouse. Being a hero is not defined by what we do, it is defined by how and why we do it, and whether or not we are living in alignment with our true calling.

Entrepreneurs are modern-day heroes. We build products and services from a call inside that tells us we have to. We answer to our impulses, knowing we simply cannot ignore the inspiration to build products and services that move the needle on the greater good and that will make an impact and serve others.

Steve Jobs was a modern-day hero. He embraced And. He built products that united design And technology. He created personal computers and handheld devices that are not only sleek and beautiful, but that also imbues ease in life through advanced technology.

Similarly, Blake Mycoskie of TOMS® is a modern-day hero. Yes, he operates a successful business that is killing it in the shoe category. Yes, he pays homage to the bottom line. And he provides a service to humanity through his One-for-One movement, where he gifts one pair of shoes to those in need for each pair of shoes purchased.

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Certainly these are A-List examples of modern-day heroism, of how executives and entrepreneurs have merged purpose with precision and meaning with financial abundance. But, becoming a hero does not have to look like any one thing. We do not need to become high-power executives, or the Steve Jobs or Richard Bransons of the world. We also do not need to commit ourselves to a meditation pillow; or give up the luxuries of life. There is no need to join a chant circle, believe in a particular god, or move to an ashram. Being a hero simply requires us to be open-minded, to heed our unique calls––whatever they may be, and to embrace the Power of And™.

I am living proof that we can be empathetic and own successful businesses, have a consistent meditation and spiritual practice and kill it in the boardroom, be loving and attentive parents and make a ton of dough. I am an executive, a CEO and a storyteller and healer. You too can be both. You too can be a modern-day hero.

Heed Your Call

Heed Your Call is available for purchase through Amazon.

DAVID M. HOWITT is the founder & CEO of Meriwether Group. He is an inspiring thought leader and accomplished entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience providing financial, strategic, and brand counsel to early stage and Fortune 100 companies. He has the unique ability to integrate vision and growth strategies with mission and purpose, and has provided guidance to Oregon Chai, Stumptown Coffee, Pendleton, adidas, Voodoo Doughnut, Salomon, yogitoes, Klim, Bloch, Dave’s Killer Bread, ABC Carpet & Home, Living Harvest, and many others.

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